Greetings fellow Bowman County Bulldog faithful, the school year is racing by before our eyes as our first quarter will be completed on Wednesday October 18th. Amazingly fast would be the best way to describe the start of our school year, off to another tremendous start with our incredible students and dedicated staff. As the days become shorter and the evenings a bit colder we all must take a moment and be thankful to be fortunate enough to work with these outstanding kids, alongside our hardworking diligent staff to continue to strive for excellence in our school district.
On October 10th Bowman County School District had to set our budget for the 2017-2018 school year. Along with help from a couple of diligent board members, our business manager and I begin work on our school district’s budget starting back in early July. Many things have to be taken into consideration when the budgeting process is occurring. Bowman County School district is keenly aware of the very challenging economic times that all of us are in the midst of. The most recent legislature completed their duties in early May. The legislature has probably the most influence on any school district in the formation of a school district’s budget. We all are aware that all North Dakota state agencies have had to tighten their belts and make significant cuts. Fortunately the North Dakota Legislature has made the education of this state’s children a very high priority. As a school district we will be fiscally responsible with the public’s funds. Bowman County School district has consistently exercised the most frugal practices in the management of our financial resources. Consequently, Bowman County School District’s budget will be less than last year’s budget as we were able to reduce our budget. The reduction of our school district’s budget may not be possible in every fiscal year, but fortunately this year it is. Bowman County Schools respects our obligation and responsibility to be the best stewards of the public’s resources. I encourage all of our community’s stakeholders to attend our monthly school board meetings if they are interested in the financial management of our school district.
Another of my duties as the Superintendent of this school district is to strategically plan for the present and the future of Bowman County School district. This is an ongoing process. Any strategic planning document I were to produce is what we would call a “living” document as it is dynamically changing to meet the ever changing needs of our school district. As I created my strategic plan for our school district, I felt that the first place to start would be to currently assess our school district. Under academic and extra-curricular programing I feel that the Bowman County School District has strong academic offerings and students have had very high achievement. The extra-curricular programs are very stable, have had excellent participation levels and have excelled in competition.
Examining our student achievement, Bowman County School students have consistently scored at or above state levels in academics. Our students have won academic awards and have done extremely well in post-secondary education. Bowman County School District staffing needs have stayed quite stable. With the impact of the energy and natural resource industry in our area there has been a slight increase in the elementary population. As housing becomes more readily available, we expect this trend to continue. If we experience a significant increase in students across the grade levels there will likely need to be additional teachers hired. I finalize my school district current assessment summary by stating Bowman County School District is a stable district with quality programs across the entire K-12 school system. The future appears bright with many young people moving to the area and a significant opportunity for employment in our area.
Bowman County Schools will always have the perpetual goal of safety. Safety is always our initial daily goal of the highest priority in anything we do with these students. We always strive to match our students to the best learning environment to create the highest probability of success for all of our students. This in turn helps to create a world-class education preparing all of our students to successfully compete globally. Finally, we will take our current curriculums and define and measure our systemic performance as related to these curriculums, assessing the most important aspects of our class offerings, and make the necessary adjustments.
Within this strategic plan, I have identified some immediate needs for our school district. I have defined both short-term goals as well as long-term goals. These include building a coordinated relationship with our early childhood learning organizations, expansion of our one to one student to device initiative, retain and recruit the highest quality staff our school district can attract and continually maintaining and improving our learning environment especially student and staff morale.
What I have outlined for you is just a small sample of all of the strategic planning it takes to effectively run a school district. It always comes back to an organization’s most important asset, the people within an organization. A wise man a long time ago once said that you are only as good as the people around you. Here in the Bowman County School District we are blessed with these outstanding students, hardworking and dedicated professional staff and a community filled with pride in our school system. Expectations and our standards will remain high. Collectively we will do the best we can with the resources we have to maintain our excellent school system. As always, if you have any concerns feel free to contact us at the school and we would be happy to discuss these concerns with you. Wishing all of you a very Happy Halloween! GO BULLDOGS!